Can I receive unemployment benefits since my position was eliminated?

I was given a new position that I do not feel qualified to take. I wasn’t given the choice of whether or not I would take the new position, and when I finally expressed to my boss that I was unhappy about the new position, she said that I could get 2 weeks severance and they would not contest unemployment and will say that I am not a good fit for the position. I’m worried though because I’m afraid that if I turn down the new position, even though it is not a good fit for me, I will not be able to get unemployment. I live in CA.

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When you say that you're not qualified, do you mean "objectively," or that you do not have required skills, certifications, etc. For example, someone who does not have a CDL license could not be asked to drive a commercial truck; a paralegal cannot represent people in court, because she is not a lawyer.

Or do you mean that personally simply feel unqualified--maybe you don't have as much experience as you'd like, or haven't done this task before. If someone with your skills and certifications *could* reasonably do the job, then it's not unreasonable for your employer to transfer you to it.

If that is the case, then turning down the job could be construed or seen as quitting, and your employer could treat you as having quit and deny you unemployment.

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